Scientists call for geoengineering research fund, | Scientific Discoveries and Advancements | Forum

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Scientists call for geoengineering research fund,
September 21, 2009
9:11 am
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

September 02, 2009

Scientists call for geoengineering research fund as last resort.

GIANT engineering schemes to reflect sunlight or suck carbon dioxide from the air could be the only way to save the Earth from runaway global warming, according to a group of leading scientists.

But they say that these schemes could have their own catastrophic consequences, such as disrupting rainfall patterns, and should be deployed only as a last resort if attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fail.

The Royal Society, a fellowship of 1400 of the world's most eminent scientists, published a report yesterday on the feasibility and possible dangers of technologies for cooling down the Earth, known as geoengineering.

The ideas include artificial trees that draw CO2 from the air and mimicking volcanoes by spraying sulphate particles a few miles above the Earth to deflect the sun's rays. The most far-fetched would would be to launch trillions of small mirrors into space to act as a sun shield.

A far cheaper solution would be a fleet of 1500 ships that would suck up sea water and spray it out of tall funnels to create sun-reflecting clouds. However, the report said that these clouds could disrupt rainfall patterns and result in mass starvation in countries dependent on the monsoon.

The panel of 12 scientists who produced the report concluded that all these approaches were theoretically possible and, despite the potential side-effects, should be explored with a view to holding trials.

They called for a £100 million annual global research fund to study geoengineering technologies and said that Britain should contribute £10 million a year, 10 times the amount being spent now on such research.

Professor John Shepherd, who chaired the panel, said: "It is an unpalatable truth that unless we can succeed in greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions we are heading for a very uncomfortable and challenging climate future, and geoengineering will be the only option left to limit further temperature increases.

"Our research found that some geoengineering techniques could have serious unintended and detrimental effects on many people and ecosystems - yet we are still failing to take the only action that will prevent us from having to rely on them. Geo- engineering and its consequences are the price we have to pay for failure to act on climate change."

Professor Shepherd, fellow in earth system science at Southampton University, admitted that there was a risk that the report would be exploited by fossil fuel companies, which might use it to argue that there was an alternative to cutting CO2 emissions.

But he said that it was better to start a thorough research program now rather than wait until the start of rapid climate change, when the world would have no time to test solutions before deploying them.

Professor Shepherd added that he had no firm opinion on how likely it was that the world would need some form of geoengineering. "My opinion ranges from maybe to possibly to probably, depending on what I had for breakfast."

Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution in the United States and a member of the panel, said: "We should spend 99 per cent of our effort on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and 1 per cent on this insurance policy (geoengineering). We need to understand what our options are."

The report said that an international body, possibly the United Nations, would need to oversee geoengineering projects because they would have impacts far beyond national boundaries. An international compensation scheme would also be needed to help those adversely affected by any project.

Professor John Beddington, the Government's chief scientific adviser, endorsed the report's call for more research into geoengineering.

He said: "These are part of the armoury of dealing with what is an enormously difficult global problem." But he added that it was "too early to say" whether trials should be approved.

September 25, 2009
2:19 pm
Avatar
Xethavosh
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
April 13, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I personally think the best way would be to synthesize photosynthesis and do it slowly. That way they can watch the effects and stop it if necesary.

Though regular photosynthesis would be better in the long run I imagine. It's just not very feasible.

September 29, 2009
11:00 am
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

But whould that help an already destroyed atmosphere.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 288

Currently Online:
41 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

greeney2: 10297

bionic: 9870

Lashmar: 5289

tigger: 4576

rath: 4297

DIss0n80r: 4161

sandra: 3858

frrostedman: 3815

Wing-Zero: 3278

Tairaa: 2842

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2

Members: 24781

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 8

Forums: 31

Topics: 9083

Posts: 124338

Newest Members:

YLGDTH, BillyShouse, Hicks Lane, muduzi, godlove, lenafan234, omep80, exam online, Patrick Shaw, JaSuRiAiLa

Administrators: John Greenewald: 637, blackvault: 1776